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News from afpop - Friday 23rd October 2020

Michael Reeve - 27-10-2020

News from afpop - Friday 23rd October 2020

Included in this briefing: 1. State of Calamity, 2. Circulation prohibited between municipalities, 3. National day of mourning, 4. Masks in public, 5. Document expiry dates, 6. Exchange/renewal of driving licences on-line, 7. UK citizens' Residency, 8. BLiP Expo, 9. Winter time, 10. Toll discount, 11. Portuguese national health tax exemptions,12. Interactive Covid-19 map

Included in this briefing:
 
1. State of Calamity
2. Circulation prohibited between municipalities
3. National day of mourning
4. Masks in public
5. Document expiry dates
6. Exchange/renewal of driving licences on-line
7. UK citizens’ Residency
8. BLiP Expo
9. Winter time
10. Toll discount
11. Portuguese national health tax exemptions
12. Interactive Covid-19 map
 
As you will no doubt have heard, the restriction on movement between council areas that was put in place over the Easter period is to be introduced again at the end of the month, with some specific exceptions. However, as the intention of these restrictions is to curb the movement of peoples as part of the government’s handling of the Coronavirus problem, you should expect that the police will be very strict in their application of the prohibition.
As usual I have taken the opportunity to include some other information which we believe is important to you, including one section specifically for our UK Members regarding the need to apply for Residency in Portugal before the end of the year.
 
State of Calamity: The State of Calamity as it is known is decreed until the end of this month and will probably be extended. The registered numbers of new people infected with the virus have been increasing from day to day. Therefore Portugal has announced new pandemic control measures, avoiding the usual travel happening around the national holiday (Dia de todos os Santos).
 
Circulation prohibited between municipalities: from the 30th of October at 00.01 until the 3rd of November at 23:59 all circulation between municipalities is prohibited unless you have a specific reason for the travel, such as travelling to the airport, consultation at a hospital, work etc. In those specific cases you should carry proof of flight/consultation/declaration from employer and you should avoid stopping on the journey if possible.
 
National day of mourning: The Council of Ministers recognizes the need to pay tribute to all the deceased, in particular the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore they have declared the 2nd of November as national day of mourning.
 
Masks in public: The use of a mask on public roads remains "strongly recommended to all citizens", however a proposal for a law has been presented to the Assembly of the Republic, in which they will request an urgent procedure to impose the mandatory wearing of masks in public, at least for the next three months. The proposal to make the download of STAYAWAY COVID app obligatory has created a lot of concern and as far as we can see in the press, the prime minister has withdrawn that proposal for now. We will keep Members informed of any changes to these recommendations as always.
 
Document expiry dates: The previous extension for official documents (such as Driving Licences, Citizens Cards, Visas, Residencias etc.) has been further extended to 31st of March 2021.
 
Non-Covid related matters:
 
Exchange of foreign driving licences and renewal of Portuguese driving licences online: We have now got our Information Bulletin P04/Driving Licence updated and you can get it on the website or through the afpop office on info@afpop.com. Remember to search in the Bulletin for your specific situation (EU, NON-EU or UK driving licence). At present it is only available in English but translations are being done and during next week it will also be available in German and Dutch.
 
UK citizens’ application for Residency: As you know the UK will finally withdraw from the EU on 31st December and the British Embassy and SEF are urging all UK citizens who have not yet applied for Residency in Portugal do so now. There is some misunderstanding about who needs to apply and what Residency will mean for you. Some believe that if they apply for Residency in Portugal, it will enable them to get around the travel restrictions of 90 days in every 180 for travel throughout the Schengen area. This is NOT the case. If you do not live in Portugal you should not be applying for Portuguese Residency. If you do it will expose you to obligations with regard to tax reporting and driving licence for example. Please do not apply for Residency if you are NOT living in Portugal under the terms required for registration. Owning property and spending a few months a year here is not reason to apply for Residency. However, if you are in fact living in Portugal (spending more than 185 days a year here) you should complete your residency application before the end of the year.
As a note to all non-UK Members, you should also apply for Residency of course if you move to Portugal and live here as your permanent home.
 
BLiP Expo 2020: You will have seen in UPDATE Magazine that BLiP this year is an online exhibition and I ask you all to support it by visiting the BLiP website (www.bliportugal.com) from the 24th of October to the 1st of November. We have almost 100 exhibitors so far, with more joining us each day, and I invite you to tell your friends about our efforts to try to do something to help the business community this year. For the last 19 years businesses have supported our event and this year we want to support them. We have not charged them to be part of this year’s event and I ask you to help us by spreading the word and by visiting their ‘stands’. The website is open 24 hours a day for the whole period, so you can visit as often as you like and there are no masks required and social distancing is guaranteed.
 
Winter time: Winter time in Portugal starts on October 25th at 2:00 am, when clocks must be put back one hour. The change to winter time takes place every year on the last Sunday of October. Therefore, at 2:00 am on the 25th, the clock should be turned back one hour on the Mainland Portugal and Madeira.
In the Azores, the time change takes place at 01:00 on October 25th, when the clocks start to show 00:00. Enjoy the extra hour.
 
Toll discount: The Council of Ministers approved this Thursday a resolution that will make it possible to lower the cost of tolls on some motorways, with a 25% reduction for class 1 and 2 vehicles, from the 8th day of use in a month on the same motorway. This will be in force from January 1st 2021. The December UPDATE will have an article with further information.
 
Portuguese national health tax exemptions: A decree-law was also approved providing for a new exemption from “charging fees” on prescribed exams or tests in the SNS (Serviço Nacional de Saúde), which takes effect from January 1st 2021. The December UPDATE will have an article with further information.
 
Interactive Covid map: You may find the information in this website interesting https://qap.ecdc.europa.eu/public/extensions/COVID-19/COVID-19.html
 
Until next time as always my best wishes to you all and please continue to,
 
STAY SAFE
 
Michael R Reeve
CEO
afpop - Making Life Better

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